Former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Luke Perry is urging people to be vigilant about their health.
Perry, now 50, underwent a routine colonoscopy in 2015. The test is normally recommended for people over 55-years-old who are more commonly affected by colorectal cancers. Younger patients will often have to specifically request the exam.
The actor, only 49-years-old at the time, was shocked when doctors found precancerous growths in his colon. The growths were quickly removed after the examination and Perry told Fox News he hopes his story will encourage more people to get tested.
“Right now, there are 23 million Americans who haven’t been screened who need to be screened,” the former teen heartthrob said. “If I had waited, it could have been a whole different scenario.”
Perry’s close call has inspired him to help raise awareness. “When I heard that this was the most detectable cancer that we know of yet it’s the second most lethal, I just couldn’t figure out why that was and I wanted to get out there and tell people about it,” the “Riverdale” star explained.
The actor even teamed up with advocacy group Fight Colorectal Cancer and its national campaign Strong Arm Selfie after Perry’s friend’s wife was diagnosed with Stage III colorectal cancer. Bayer Healthcare will donate one dollar to charity for every person who takes a selfie while flexing a bicep and uses the hashtag #StrongArmSelfie.
This isn’t the first time a celebrity has raised awareness on the issue. In 2001, former “Today Show” host Katie Couric underwent a televised colonoscopy after her 42-year-old husband died from colorectal cancer.